Algeria on March 12 reportedly announced its first death from the novel coronavirus and another four new cases have also been confirmed, bringing the total in the country to 24. The Algerian health ministry also informed that the 25th case, who was the first registered in the country, concerned an Italian who tested positive in February but now has left Algeria. Furthermore, out of the four new cases, two are Algerian who had recently travelled to France.
According to reports, the other three cases are now being treated in a hospital in Blida area, southwest of Algiers. The Algerian health ministry has reportedly urged people to defer their trips to virus-hit countries. The ministry has also asked Algerian returning from those countries to postpone 'family visits unless absolutely necessary'.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic after the virus spread to more than 100 countries, resulting in the deaths of more than 4,500 people worldwide. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom further even urged all nations to get very serious over the issue and take all necessary measures to contain the virus from spreading at this rate. Tedros said, that the word "Pandemic" cannot be used lightly or carelessly due to its strong connotation.
However, Tedros also said that the coronavirus outbreak is a controllable pandemic. According to a statement released by the World Health Organisation, Tedros outlined two main reasons as to why the decision was taken to describe the epidemic as a pandemic. Tedros said that one reason was the speed and scale of transmission and the others was because "countries are not approaching this threat with the level of political commitment needed to control it".